An interview with artists Lloyd Osborne and Shabnam Shiwan, who are part of the exhibition, TDC68 Aotearoa: The World’s Best Typography, from 18 August - 13 September 2023.
What are your backgrounds? How and when did you start to collaborate as designers?
LO - After studying art for a year, I shifted my focus to design and have been working with experimental type for most of my life. Writing for design and expressing that writing through typography is an absolute joy. After founding my agency, I was fortunate to have Shabnam join me and it’s been an exciting journey ever since.
SS - I was Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi before joining Lloyd to work on the Karen Walker rebrand. This was a thrilling opportunity to be part of a substantial project for one of Aotearoa’s most iconic brands.
For those that don’t know, can you give a bit of background on Type Directors Club?
LO - Established in 1946, the Type Directors Club celebrates typography in all its forms. It’s made up a global community that’s united by the shared belief that type drives culture. There is an annual competition that is open to everyone, with low or free entry fees for developing countries. Winners are invited to submit their work for the travelling exhibition.
How did you come to be a part of sharing TDC68 with Aotearoa?
LO - The annual exhibition (eight at any time) travels globally and we both loved the idea that our work might be seen in many different countries, alongside work from iconic designers. The first time we entered and won, Fred Woodward, award-winning Art Director at Rolling Stone magazine also had winning work included. He was one of my design heroes and it this was quite a moment for me. From there, it just made sense to bring the exhibition to Aotearoa.
SS - Magazino in Ponsonby was one of my favourite haunts when I was starting out in design. The TDC Annual must have really stood out to me because I remember being enthralled by the beautiful and progressive typography within its pages. It flicked a switch in my brain that said, all things are possible.
A key part of the exhibition is to increase the level of diversity and representation in all aspects of its programming, membership, and on its Advisory Board. What does it mean to you to support bringing this exhibition to Aotearoa and show the work of this diverse group of designers?
LO - Diversity, to us, is about bridging the gap between people. In a time when we are more connected than ever, there can, ironically, be a lack of real human connectedness. Designers are naturally curious people and being able to communicate our differences ensures that we learn from each other - to be better at what we do.
SS - The uniqueness of different cultures and languages is fundamental to great typography. By bringing the TDC exhibition to Aotearoa, we are hoping to inspire local designers to tell their stories, their way, to inspire a global audience.
What do you hope visitors take away from the exhibition?
LO- I think the exhibition is fun. From Apple watch face design to experimental student posters, there is simply so much to see and experience. Everyone will find something to enjoy. We hope that creatives come away inspired and those with an interest in the creative process come away with a better understanding of what can be achieved when they engage with a designer.
About Osborne Shiwan
Founded in 2006, Osborne Shiwan is a Tāmaki Makaurau-based creative agency specialising in strategic thinking and creative direction. Directors Lloyd Osborne and Shabnam Shiwan have collaborated with some of Aotearoa’s most influential brands and their work has been recognised internationally within the areas of commerce, arts and culture.
About Lloyd Osborne
Lloyd’s work has been recognised in Aotearoa’s Best Awards, Good Design Awards (Australia), AGDA (Australia), Red Dot Awards (Germany), ADC (USA) and TDC (USA). His expertise in the areas of culture and luxury has seen the creation of memorable brands for new luxury labels Karen Walker, Deadly Ponies and Knuefermann. He has been appointed as an Advisory Board member for the Type Directors Club.
About Shabnam Shiwan
As Design Director at Alt Group and Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide, Shabnam has worked with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Fisher & Paykel and Spark NZ. Her expertise in the arts sector has seen the creation of award-winning brands and campaigns for NZ Opera, Black Grace, Auckland Theatre Company, Silo Theatre, Auckland Live and Atamira Dance Company. Shabnam’s work has been recognised in the Clio Awards (USA), AIGA (USA) and One Show (USA). She is a participant in Here Now, a global mentorship for BIPOC creatives.
About the Type Directors Club
Founded in 1946 by the industry’s leading design practitioners, the Type Directors Club, based in New York, is an international organisation whose purpose is to build a creative community through public events and platforms, support the growth of students and early-career professionals, and recognise excellence in type design across the world.